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A strong digital presence is invaluable for restaurants in the modern era. However, the popularity of food and beverage-themed social media accounts has made social media for restaurants more competitive than ever.

If you’re tasked with elevating a restaurant’s digital presence and you’re seeking fresh, effective tips that actually work, follow these practical tips on mastering social media for restaurants.

Creating a Restaurant Social Media Marketing Plan

The first step in mastering restaurant social media marketing is creating an effective strategy. Whether you’re starting from scratch or seeking to refine an existing account, here are a few tips to get started:

Goals: What is your restaurant marketing plan seeking?  

The first step in creating your restaurant social media marketing plan is determining your goals for creating an account. Of course, your main goal is likely to attract new customers to your restaurant. But aside from this, you might also be interested in establishing your restaurant as a local thought leader or a global culinary influence. Social media has the potential to reach people around the world, and thinking about the impact of your social posts can help you create a more targeted, results-driven strategy.

guests laughing over a light snack in a restaurant

Audience: Who your restaurant social media strategy aimed for?

Next, think about who your target audience is. If you’re trying to target millennials in New York City, you might look at what other millennial-driven social media accounts are posting. If you’re aiming for upper-class families in Southern California, however, the content you post might look much different. Consider other restaurant accounts who share your same audience. Look at what they’re sharing to see what’s successful and what’s not, to determine what direction to pursue.

Market Research: What are restaurants using social media successfully?

After you’ve taken time to determine your goals and audience, it’s time to do some market research. First, you might look at a national or even global scale to explore restaurants with similar concepts and audiences to yours.

Which posts get the most engagement? What posts seem to struggle in comparison? Next, you can scale down your research to look at things from a small-scale standpoint. What are restaurants in your locale doing on social media? The goal of a competitive analysis at this scale is two-fold. For one, it can help you see where your competition stands. But it also can help you identify key opportunities for where your restaurant can stand out.

Elevating a Restaurant Social Media Profile

There are a few key characteristics which differentiate a good social media profile from a great one. For example, all good social media profiles are updated with accurate, relevant information and details about the restaurant. This includes basics like where your restaurant is located, how to contact you and what type of food you serve.

Beyond that, adding high-quality images of your restaurant and food offerings is essential for enticing customers to come in and try what you have to offer. If you don’t have high-quality images, hiring a professional photographer is key for elevating your social media game. Going through old photos on your social profile and website and replacing them with fresh, new photos is a yearly habit that can help your restaurant stay competitive in such a fast-moving industry.

Facebook Marketing for Restaurants

Facebook is perhaps the best way to reach new and current customers in your locale. If you’re seeking a way to improve your restaurant’s page, keep in mind that the best Facebook posts for restaurants are both engaging and enticing.

Engaging Imagery

You might decide to post a high-quality photo of your weekly dessert special for the week to get people’s mouths watering. Another idea is to showcase a behind-the-scenes look at the kitchen, with one of your chefs frosting a cake or adding a garnish to a heaping plate of pasta.

Customer Feedback

Facebook posts can also provide the opportunity for feedback from customers, and you might decide to ask questions about what people like and what they’re looking for. In addition to increasing engagement on your post, asking questions helps your restaurant create a more honest and authentic presence online.

Weekly Giveaway

Another idea to boost your Facebook presence is to start a giveaway. Giveaways are a quick, effective way to attract new people to your restaurant. You might start by testing out a gift card for a small sum, such as $10-$15, depending on your restaurant’s price point. You might require that followers tag a friend in order to enter the giveaway, which can attract more authentic views and followers to your account.

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As a professional copywriter, Dan typically spends his days buried in a booth at a local coffee shop. Ideas flow best with a cup of coffee in one hand and a bagel in the other. Dan has written for Entrepreneur Magazine, Military.com, and other media publications.